Session title: GCSE English: Avoiding Ofsted nightmares

Integrating literacy development for all, improving expert learning skills, high-grades, and GCSE grades. 

Typical inspection issues

  • Teachers in vocational areas do not routinely develop learners’ English skills so that they fully understand the importance of these skills and how to apply them.
  • Too many teachers do not link the development of English skills to their vocational subjects. As a result, students do not improve their English knowledge, skills and confidence quickly enough.


GCSE English: Avoiding Ofsted nightmares is a half-day session.

Publicity information for event organisers

The whole FE and Skills sector is struggling with how to improve the development of learners’ literacy skills and its subsequent impact on qualification outcomes. Nationally, less than a third of learners succeed with their resit, but why? Establishing the root cause of this underperformance is obviously a pre-requisite to finding the solution. Could it be that teachers don’t know how to embed literacy development effectively? Or perhaps that both vocational teachers and learners view English as a separate, second-class subject?

In this session, delegates will explore both of these issues by looking at the seamless overlap between the nine GCSE English assessment objectives set by Ofqual and the core skills of the expert/ independent learner. In other words, when staff plan expert learning skill outcomes in their lessons they will not only be proactively developing learners’ independent learning skills, they will also be embedding effectively all nine of the GCSE English assessment objectives.

But this strategy is not simply about GCSE resits, it is about the continual development of all learners’ literacy skills. Just imagine the qualification with a different title such as: ‘Level 3 Expert Learning Skills’. The rewards for all can be substantial, improving the high-grade and high value-added rates of main qualifications. Being a significant win for learners, and an easy win for teachers, this strategy is a must for any education provider wanting to avoid an Ofsted nightmare.

Information for potential delegates

Imagine if there was a way to adjust your subject-specific scheme of work to ensure that all GCSE English resit learners passed their retake with high grades. Whilst this may sound overly aspirational, you might also like to imagine that this strategy could result in a significant improvement in value-added scores and high grade pass rates for all learners, not just the re-sitters (where these are not already outstanding, of course). The final image for consideration is of delighted inspectors writing glowing accounts of your excellent integration of literacy and outstanding development of learning independence. If you’d like help with any of these images, then the session: ‘GCSE English: avoiding Ofsted nightmares’, might just help.

This session will enable delegates to:

  • list the nine GCSE English assessment objectives (AOs)
  • identify these AOs in practice and map them against core expert/independent learning skills
  • use their understanding of the AOs to develop innovative approaches to embedding literacy development in schemes of work
  • reflect on the writing of learning outcomes to include the development of expert-learner (and so GCSE English) skills.

What the delegates say

  • For an overview of feedback on this session, please click here.

These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.


CSE English: Avoiding Ofsted nightmares is a half-day session, though a shortened, two-hour version, with less practical activity can be delivered.

Typical uses in a staff development day include:


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.